People traveling with a dog | The United States tightens its rules

Microchipping, minimum age, possible vaccination against rabies: if you are thinking of traveling to the United States this summer with your dog, you will now have to show a white “paw”. Here are the new rules you will have to follow to cross the border with your pet from 1er August 2024.

The new rules

The dog must appear healthy, be at least 6 months old and have a microchip. Other documents will also be required, depending on whether the dog has traveled during the last 6 months to a country where it would be at risk of catching rabies, or if it is vaccinated against it. In all cases, a certificate signed by a veterinarian and dated less than 30 days must be presented, in addition to a form downloadable from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website from July 15 .

Who is this for?

All people traveling with a dog who enter the United States will have to comply with the new rules starting 1er August 2024.

According to a survey carried out by the Association of Veterinary Doctors of Quebec (AMVQ) in 2023, one in four Quebec households owns a dog (and nearly one in three in the regions). However, while microchipping is recommended throughout the province, it is only mandatory in certain cities, such as Montreal or Laval. “We are probably talking about several thousand animals [qui ne sont pas micropucés] », estimates the DD Eve-Lyne Bouchard, president of the AMVQ.

Some owners could therefore have an unpleasant surprise when arriving at the border with their dog. “People will have to plan in advance to adjust and do the paperwork with their veterinarian, we will no longer necessarily be able to go on a whim with our dog for a weekend hike at Mount Washington,” she illustrates.

Rage at the center of concerns

Canada is not a country where dogs are at high risk of catching canine rabies – a highly contagious, transmissible to humans and fatal variant of rabies. But this is the case for certain South American countries, such as Cuba, Brazil or Colombia. However, the United States believes that it has eradicated canine rabies since 2007, which is why it is tightening its rules, in order to prevent this disease from being introduced again into its territory.

A desire shared by its neighbor: although Canada does not yet have such strict measures, it has nevertheless banned the importation of dogs from high-risk countries since 2022.

“We saw a certain tendency to import stray animals from Morocco or South America, but this exposed us to the risk of transporting cases of rabies to our territory,” explains the DD Eve-Lyne Bouchard.

Note that canine rabies is a different variant from that found in wild animals (skunks, foxes, raccoons, bats), which is still very present in Canada and the United States. but against which vaccination is also effective.

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